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What is the origin of having a green thumb?

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the saying "green thumb" means someone who, not literally, has a green thumb because they like gardening. When growing tobacco, farmers remove the flowers from the crops in order to increase the size and weight of the leafs. This process, known as "topping," is standard practice even today. In early colonial America, when tobacco was the major cash crop, farmers would hand-pick the flowers using their thumbnails to cut the stem. After a while, the farmer's thumb would be stained green. Hence the term, Green Thumb.
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